A project to boost communication, language & literacy has been launched by Cambridgeshire County Council, with the support of the National Literacy Trust.

Across Cambridgeshire, the percentage of children achieving a good level of development at the end of their first year at school is in line with the national average (70%) However, for some children in some parts of the county, this is not the case– for disadvantaged children this figure was less than 50%.

The Council’s Community Literacy Project ‘Talking Together in Cambridgeshire’ will focus on Huntingdon, Wisbech, Chatteris, March, and North-East Cambridge where the language and literacy levels of young children are lower than in other parts of the county. Launch events were held earlier this month.

Talking Together in Cambridgeshire will focus on raising awareness of communication, language & literacy development for children aged 0-6 with parents, childminders, practitioners and others in the community.

The project will also look to support family members who may have language or literacy difficulties.

The project team will champion the benefits of parent – child conversations using a ‘talking tennis’ approach in order to broaden children’s vocabulary. They will also be inspiring parents to create stories for their children based on their child’s day-to-day experiences.

The team will deliver training to childminders & practitioners across the project reach areas, and community groups will be able to bid for funding to put on activities in their own communities that support the project aims.

Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee, said: “Research shows the importance of strong language skills, and the impact of language on attainment and enjoyment of school and future life chances. This project aims to increase the number of children reaching or surpassing the expected standard at the end of their reception year at school by working with parents, childcare providers and community groups.”

For more information about the project, including volunteer opportunities, please contact Helen Wootton at [email protected] or call 01223 699671.

Helen Wootton, Early Years Literacy Adviser, and Harriet Gervasio, Early Years Improvement Adviser


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